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latoracing

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latoracing last won the day on March 9

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About latoracing

  • Rank
    V8 Powered G-Machine
  • Birthday 10/22/1969

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    NC
  • Interests
    Fixing rusty old Mustangs, Fishing, Welding

Converted

  • Location
    NC
  • Interests
    Working on Mustangs, Fishing
  • Occupation
    R+D Metal Fabricator

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  1. Nice to see another Grabber Special on the forum. Mine was no where near as nice as what you're staring with and the rebuilding has been slow over the past couple of years. I'll be watching to see what upgrades you are making. I like it!
  2. All the tedious fun of fitting parts together and getting them trimmed is behind me. The inner tube was all fitted on the second tip but before I could tack them together I needed to put a notch in the side to clear the shackle bolt. A little more trimming along with the fill-in part these were all tack welded together. I also measured out a reducer to go from the 3" tube down to the 2.5" tube, trimmed it for the notch and tacked it. It was time to get down to the welding portion... finally. I started with the inside as it was the hardest to get to. I did the usual 2x the normal amount of filler rod on all the seam as they will be ground flush pretty much everywhere. The welds look awful but they will sand nicely. I'm sure I'll have several places to touch up, just part of making things pretty. I pretty much killed my afternoon getting all the seams welded up and ready for the cleaning phase. Onto the finishing...
  3. Had to finish up a job that is going to be picked up in a couple of days, with that behind me, its tip time. As I have had several days to think about how to build these, things went rather smoothly this afternoon. I needed to start off by trimming the inner 2.5" tube to the same radius of the 3" tube. They were stuck together and marked for trimming. I used some 3/16" round rod for spacers that are taped to the inner tubing. After a little material removal the pins were taped back in place. I didn't know if this next portion would work in one piece or not, but I had to try. Using the 3" tube as a bending guide I bent the 1/4" rod into a workable shape. A little tweak here and there along with a few trimmings the rod was welded together, Surprisingly out of one continuous piece. Taping the parts together it looks like it might just work. I need to do the final touch-ups on the ring and finish trim the inner tube. One down one to go...
  4. Both of the backup light holes are history. I went ahead and marked the locations of the soon to be exhaust holes in the valance and fitted it back on the car. I like the look of the valance without the backup lights, might have to do one more.... With the valance on the car, I double checked the hole locations just to be 101% sure of where these things will exit. I also checked the rear shackle swing to see how much room I will need for clearance on the sides of the tips and to see if the rear end housing would clear the over the axle pipe. The tips are going to be heavly notched to clear the bolt and have room to clear the gas tank. The V band clamp is a finger width away from the housing sitting on the ground and there is plenty of clearance to the arch in the pipe (thankfully). Removing the valance I got out my trusty aviation snips and removed the metal blocking the exits. A little sanding to get the tips too slide through and it went back up on the car. The holes are not quite sanded to fit, but it gave me reassurance because the tips fit between the tank and shackle bolt. The passenger side is also in good shape. I don't know how far the tips will be sticking out when they are done, but this gives an idea of where I'm going with them. A side profile gives a better view of the shape I put in the tips. They are not level, but the radius gives it a little extra touch. I'll mark the openings to get the shape just right and then I'll bend a flange all the way around to give the valance a little more strength and clearance for the tips.
  5. In getting these holes filled in, I needed to get the patches contoured to the panel. A smallish piece of 20ga was shaped to fit the contours on the english wheel using a 8.5" radius lower anvil. Laying the shaped material under the areas to be filled in, the patches were scribed and trimmed to fit. I wanted these parts tight so extra attention was given to them. I like the patches to fit in place without anything holding them up, makes them easier to tack weld in place with the TIG Round and round making small welds around my filler part. I keep the metal cool to the touch and dress the welds before planishing each section. This keeps the parts in line and helps with distortion. Keeping the welds cool during and after is key to easier cleanup. TIG welds are temperamental when it comes to dirt, it's easy to get pinholes from paint and debris in the steel. I have a few craters that had to be filled back up, but the majority of the welds looked like the above picture. I use .030" MIG wire for my filler rod, just the right amount for this gauge material. Once I had everything all welded up I started with the metal finishing. Between my high crown body hammer and a nice domed dolly, both sides of the patch were planished and filed smooth. I did use a 24 grit disk on my die grinder to knock the tops off all the welds before filing and a couple of trips back to the english wheel for a little more shape. The areas that I deleted the stamped details out of are still a little stretched, but I don't think anyone will notice the profile difference. One down, one to go...
  6. Now that I've gotten to this rabbit hole, nothing to do but jump in head first. Had a couple of ideas on how the tips should look. From a sharp edge to a flat transition inside to a plain rolled single pipe to Vic's choice of double wall with a 1/8" radius edge. I did a very rough mock-up of what it will entail. The radius will be formed from 1/4" stainless rod, flush on the outside and inside. To make this a little more interesting, I really didn't want a straight edge miter on the tips but thought it might flow a little better with the same radius as the rear valance. Subtle but different. Starting out with my sharpie I drew center lines on the 3" tube and drew a guesstimate of what the curvature of the valance would be. It doesn't look like much of a radius, but it ends up being quite a bit. Sand fit mark, sand fit mark... back and forth for a little bit and the tip started to get the shape I was looking for. They are fitting nicely now without hardly any gaps. Having the outsides fairly well done I wanted to check the locations of the new holes I'm fixing to cut. I drew a centerline on the inside of the valance and lined up the paper template over my scribed marks. The inside of the eclipse is what I marked for removal. Before I get to chopping new holes I needed to prep the back-up light holes for deletion. The little eyebrows are going away along with all the holes. Lots and lots of planishing to get these stamped in details back flat and contoured. I got them into a semi workable condition, trimmed the holes a little and it's about ready for some patches to be formed. I'll get the paint removed from these areas and get the patches welded in place. The welds will shrink and I hope that it takes care of the overly stretched material. Small holes, lots of hammering and metal finishing.
  7. This is the part Vic has been waiting for, watching me swiss-cheese his rear valance. He gave a little glimpse of my CAD print-out a few weeks back, well, now it's getting put to some use. The template has two sizes drawn on it, the inside ellipse is 3" and the outer is 3.5". The rear valance is not flat (obviously) and is really close to 38 degrees. The CAD drawing is based on this degree to get everything in the ball park. We had discussed going 3.5" tips, which were a little large compared to the valance, so the tips are (hopefully) going to be 3". In order to get the pipes to line up with the holes I'm fixing to make, I gotta know where to place them. I chopped up a section of 2.5" pipe to the correct angle and taped it to one of the stands. It was leveled and lifted into position. I started with the driver's side, cause this side is going to be TIGHT! The rear shackle is going to be great to work around and move towards the tip when the suspension is loaded. I got the tube where it looked centered between the shackle and the tank. The tip is up against the valance so its location could be marked. I'm going to get the other side marked before taking the valance down to see what I'll have to do to make 3" tips fit through this area. While I'm chopping new holes in the valance, the backup lights are going away. I need to get this primer and e-coat removed so it can be worked on.
  8. Just having some fun messing with some tubes. Thanks for all the positive comments everyone. Got the hangers all cleaned up along with the left side muffler and the section over the housing. They were put back in position and tack welded in place. I started fitting the tube that will transition out the back. Once again, we have to do some minor navigational adjustments due to the pan hard bar and the way these tail pipes were bent. As Vic has alluded too earlier, this system is going through the valance, and it will be interesting to fit the driver's side. This kit has the pipes bent to come out under the valance, well, that isn't in the cards for this one. I'm pretty much using bends to get the pipes through the bars, around the tank and up towards the rear cross member. I knew this would be in and out a bunch so a v-band clap was placed in an out of the way location. I don't want all this work to be off when the previous section is welded so this all came out and was back on the table to get all fried in place and cleaned up. Looks much better than the smoky burnt up looking condition they arrived in. Stainless MIG welded parts are messy, and take a little bit of cleaning to make them somewhat presentable. Tail pipes are next along with marking some holes in the valance. This will be interesting...
  9. What color wheels are going on this? Might look at incorporating those colors into the logo, or black would be subtle and not overly gaudy.
  10. Starting out with a strip of 4" wide 304 stainless steel that is .120" thick I cut out the openings for the muffler flanges and got them all de-burred. Having the large holes chopped in the plates I laid out the bend lines to do a little offsetting for the bushings and the new attachment posts. Once they were bent the stud location was measured and marked for a 3/8" hole to be drilled. They were checked for fitment, which works nicely. The 3/8" holes were reamed out to 11/16" and the parts were cut on my sharpie guided portaband and cleaned up. Got a little more cleaning up to do and its time to get some tail pipes fitted..
  11. Since the 1/2" round rod didn't quite fit the bill, the alternative hangers require a little bit of machining. Chucked up some 1018 1" solid bar in the lathe, turned it down to fit the inside diameter of some 1.125" DOM 1/8" wall CRS tube. The bar was drilled with a 3/8" bit and chopped into .3125" washers. Getting my washers all de-burred and the tubing cut to size, the 3/8" grade 8 bolts were tack welded to the washers... and then welded into the 1.125" tubing. I removed 1/2" of thread off of the end of the bolt so it didn't stick out too much past the nylon lock nut that will be used later on. I am cheating a little as these are basically what I built for my car... much easier the second time around. Letting those parts cool off a little, the mounting plates needed to be shaped and drilled. After getting the outer parts fit to the rear floorboard the inside doubler was bent and trimmed to fit. I used a scrap piece of 20ga between the two to simulate the floorboard and pilot drilled through all the layers. Once I was happy with this setup, the outer part was placed on the car lining it up on the Center Line I had marked earlier and pilot drilled them in place. I went ahead and reamed the outside plate holes to 1/4" along with the floorboard and the inside doubler received a little larger 5/16" hole to help with alignment. I needed to get the standoffs fried in place so they were attached with just a little heat. These are actually painted and on the car, but I didn't take any pictures with them in place. I've got to get some seam sealer around the edges and a little more paint touch up once the hangers are all complete. Now to fab the rest of the hangers...
  12. Looking at the RS chassis, there is something that kinda sticks out to me. The front suspension does bolt to the existing frame rails, but the rest of the chassis is sitting on bushings. Their paged didn't call out what type of bushings they are, but if it were bolted up with urethane or some sort of semi flexible bushing there is instant flex aft of the front suspension. I might be incorrect in my point of view, but I would want this frame solidly attached to the unibody. $12K wouldn't be too hard to swallow if the chassis came with all the suspension components. Shipping might get into your wallet a little...
  13. Time to fab up some hangers for this system. As I wasn't quite sure of how I wanted to go about doing this, I messed around with some 304 1/2" round rod to see if I could bend up something that might look the part. Wasn't too overly thrilled with the way that turned out and I wasn't sure it would do what I want it to do, so I made a rough template out of some poster board for a little more custom look. I'll probably make the bracket encircle the muffler outlet as this looks chopped off. A little bit of work needs to be accomplished to fab up the brackets and the mounts for the floor board attachment areas as well. The hangers will be 11ga stainless and have to be dressed up a little, and to lighten them up some too. Went and picked up the custom driveshaft this afternoon. I have a shop up the road from me that does lots of custom drivelines for all kinds of vehicles and machinery. Got it back to the shop and bolted it in place. Looks like it belongs.
  14. Had a fun day of fitting and getting a lot accomplished with these pipes. I had to trim the muffler inlets and outlets first thing. Got them cut and the flanges tack welded in place. The mufflers fit really nice so the flanges were welded solid. I'm getting use to new contacts and I am having fun with depth perception, my welds are suffering... I removed the exhaust and finish welded all the connections and flanges. With a little adjustment after it cooled off it was ready to get cleaned up. I used red scotch-brite to remove the discolored areas and give the pipes a uniform look. I did not remove all the surface imperfections so there are some deeper scratches and manufacturing defects in the tube. Using the strip of material like a belt I quickly got it looking better. I picked up a weird little stand from work the other day as they were going to chuck it in the recycle bin (it was a brand new sample from someone) and set it up to help hold the pipes as I finished with the cleaning. It worked fairly well, might have to keep it around for a while. The cleaning took less than an hour total, but looks presentable. I stuck it back under the car, bolted it to the headers and installed the mufflers which are being supported by the stands. Once everything was in its proper position I installed the belly plate, just to see how everything cleared, which it did nicely. Laying on the floor looking up revealed this... So far so good. Now to build some hangers and chop up some tail pipes.
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